Joe Lueck

Traverse City, Michigan

I Love Michigan Cherries was created in 2013
Material is stainless steel

In 2013, several Northwestern Michigan college students formed MAD (Making A Difference) Cherries for Charity to raise funds for several area non-profits.  Terry Berden, owner and founder of Great Lakes Stainless, commissioned this piece.  It is now owned by Shoreline Fruit, Cherry Ke and Cherry Bay Orchards. These local cherry companies placed their “I Love Michigan Cherries” sculpture at the entrance to the 2015 the National Cherry Festival in memory of their long time business partner and cherry industry innovator Gene A. Veliquette of Elk Rapids. Gene passed away unexpectedly on June 7, 2015. 

“We have been working with local organizations in Traverse City to find a fitting location so the structure could be shared with the public” said Don Gregory, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shoreline Fruit. “Together with Shoreline and our partners at Cherry Ke and Cherry Bay Orchards we felt it would be a special way for others to remember and recognize the contributions that Gene had made to the cherry industry”. "It would be hard to find a person that loved Michigan cherries more than Gene,” continued Don. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the cherry statue during Festival week,” said Trevor Tkach, Executive Director of the National Cherry Festival. "It is fitting that a statue celebrating cherries is dedicated to a man who made it his life's work, Gene Veliquette. We will proudly display the “I Love Michigan Cherries” statue in honor of Gene and all those from the industry whose hard work has earned us the title of Cherry Capital of the World.” 

The sculpture was moved to the Walk of Art in 2016 and will remain on display for three years. 

Approximate dimensions:

9’ high, 8’ wide

400 pounds

Not for sale - on loan from Shoreline Fruit, Cherry Ke and Cherry Bay Orchards

For further information about this sculpture, please contact us.

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